Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu


The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu 

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody.

Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But in this novel from Jennifer Mathieu, exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

Review: Last semester I took a children's literature course and I would share some of the books I read through reviews. This time around, my class is all about Young Adult literature, so I hope you enjoy hearing about the many books I'll be reading. The first week of class we had to choose a realistic fiction novel that had been published in the last year. I'd been wanting to read The Truth About Alice, so it was a great reason to pick it up.

This book is quick, but I felt like it dealt with the various issues in a realistic way. Besides Alice and all the rumors surrounding what she may or may not have done at a party, everyone telling this story has their own worries, fears, and secrets. There is Elaine, the popular girl who had the party; Josh, Brandon's best friend and the reason people know about Alice supposedly sexting him the night he died; Kelsie, the ex-best friend of Alice who turns against her after all the drama; and Kurt, the smartest boy in school who lived next door to Brandon and who has been in love with Alice for years.

Each of these narrators tell the story of Alice as they know it. As readers, we eventually learn the truth, but it's heartbreaking to see all that Alice had to go through. It's horrible that there is such a stereotype against women who are comfortable with their sexuality being "sluts" or "whores." Alice is accused of sleeping with two guys in one night, but what about the guys? They are seen as heroes, in a sense, and it's wrong. Regardless of the truth, and like I said, you do learn it, there shouldn't be such a difference when regarding men and women and their sexuality.

In the end, this was a really good book. You get Alice's perspective in the end, and I thought it was done well. I suppose I would have loved to hear more from her, but I think the idea of other people telling your own story makes sense. It often happens after all.

17 comments:

Medeia Sharif said...

I read the ARC of this awhile ago. It's a powerful, contemporary YA book.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Sounds like an interesting book!

Liviania said...

The use of Alice's lack of voice (and then hearing it in the end) was interesting.

Sharons Book Nook! said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I'll have to add this to my tbr.
Great review.

kimbacaffeinate said...

This sounds powerful and the different perspectives intrigues me. I am glad it was realistic. Fantastic review Lauren

Keertana said...

I feel as if this would be a really tough book for me to read as I'm not a fan of issue novels but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! Wonderful review! :)

Diva Booknerd said...

I loved this one too Lauren, it was so incredibly raw and realistic. I think not initially including Alice's point of view was really powerful, but rather hearing from her peers and those who made her life feel insignificant. So glad you enjoyed this one too Lauren, looking forward to seeing what others you've read as well <3

Jasprit said...

I have great things about this book, so I'm glad that you really ended up enjoying it. It always good when the different narrations actually work too. I think I would totally feel for Alice too in this book. I shall have to try and get a copy of this book soon! :)

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

This sounds like a good one! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Marianne Robles said...

It's awesome that you're taking a YA Lit class! I wish they gave one of those in my college. Anyways, I remember reading this book, and really enjoying it. While it was short, it definitely added something different to the "bullying" theme of other books. I like how Alice's POV wasn't seen until the very end. Great review!

Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms.

Claudia {Sparrowhawk} said...

This one sounds promising and thought-provoking; like something that would pose great questions. Great review!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I was impressed with this one as well. I liked the subject matter and readind the different persepectives, I too, though wanted more of Alice. Still a great read for discussion.

Melanie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well, Lauren! I thought they way the author decided to write this from other people's perspectives was really interesting and gave the readers so much insight.

Nice review! <33

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

I NEED TO TAKE THAT CLASS. Seriously, would be so much fun. This has a Thirteen Reasons Why feel about it, but exactly, this is one thing I hate about YA books (slut-shaming, a negative feel on women exploring their sexuality) so totally agree, guys who "sleep around" or been with multiple partners, are seen as heroes with male friends, and okay, they sometimes get called man whores, but it's like a medal, whereas if a women does it, it's a disgrace. Uh, no. Obviously there's more to it in this book, but what's the problem if she did sleep with two guys in one night if it was consensual and she wasn't dating/or slept with guys dating someone?
The way the author wrote it from the perspectives of the classmates definitely is fitting, other people make with what they hear, or see, or think they see, when you don't tell your own story, they do.

I so need to read this one when I can! :)

Melliane said...

I heard a lot about this one but I haven't tried it. The topic is really interesting too! I'm glad you had a good time with it. I should try too one day.

Alexia561 said...

Sounds like a really good story, but poor Alice! Love the idea of a YA literature class and looking forward to hearing about all the books you choose!

Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

Cleo Bannister said...

I do think it is great when YA books cover real issues and as you say this issue is something that effects lots of girls - Great review!